I'll Make it Happen

Next week is "Hell Week" (what less interesting people call "Tech Week" or "Production Week"), but this week is Crazy Week!

I have to get postcards in the mail, the program to the printer, posters and postcards for the next show designed and printed so we can put them in the lobby, plus this week is when I'll do the bulk of the polishing. I've been behind the piano thus far, so now I will see everything that's going on, some of it for the first time.

People always wonder how I can direct when I'm behind the piano for much of the rehearsal process. But the secret is that this gives the actors some very valuable play time, time to experiment with their characters and relationships, with their physicality, with bits of stage business, with the pacing of the show, all that stuff that adds so much to a performance without the audience really noticing. If I wasn't behind the piano, I'd be giving them notes and bothering them much earlier and I think it would rob them of that time to explore.

I do give them direction when I'm at the piano -- I've learned over the last 28 years to play and watch at the same time -- but I try only to fix staging problems and give them Big Picture direction. From this point forward, with nothing else on my mind, I will nitpick. I will polish this show like a madman, focus the comedy, "underline" what's important (there are lots of subtle ways to do that), massage everyone into the same style and energy, and get us the last mile of this journey. This is the time when they transform from a bunch of great actors into an Ensemble, and I love watching that happen!

Ticket sales are already doing great -- that's earlier than usual. Order 'em now, people!

Long Live the Musical!